Donegal manager, Rory Gallagher, was far from happy at losing his captain in Saturday's night league clash with Dublin in Croke Park and he feels that Murphy is being treated differently.
Michael Murphy received a second yellow card on 50 minutes when the game was delicately balanced, Dublin leading by 0-7 to 0-6.
Dublin lost James McCarthy at the same time, but no doubt Murphy was a much greater loss to Donegal.
The Glenswilly man (pictured right) had picked up an early yellow card which Rory Gallagher felt was very harsh after a Dublin player collided into him after losing control.
"As far as I could see, the first one, the Dublin player mis-soloed the ball, Michael stood his ground. There's no point in hiding behind it – Michael gets refereed, in our opinion, slightly different. We look at maybe an incident early in the Kerry game where the player (Kieran Donaghy) got nothing, no card,” said Gallagher.
For the second yellow card, Murphy went for a loose ball, but a Dublin player was going down to pick up. There would probably have been no card shown in normal circumstances. But other Dublin players came in and confronted Murphy and a small melee ensued after which Murphy was shown a second yellow.
“I hope you will highlight this,” said Gallagher, speaking to the national media after the game, referring to the harsh treatment of Murphy.
Speaking afterwards, Michael Murphy, would not be drawn on the issue that he was being singled out.
“Ah come here, it was two fouls; two yellow cards. I have to deal with it and get on with it. So that’s all I have to say on it really,” in typical Murphy speak.
In the game itself, Donegal almost got the perfect start when Eoin McHugh's effort was taken off the line, but they were chasing the game for most of the time, reverting to a packed defence.
They did lead briefly - 0-6 to 0-5 - at the start of the second half and had chances to push on. But for the most part it was Dublin who were trying to break down the Donegal rearguard as Murphy put so well. “We hung in there. We were hanging in there more so than really going at Dublin the way we know we can do," said Murphy.
Dublin, Kerry and Roscommon are assured of a National League semi-final slot, while the final place in the last four will be decided on Sunday next in the final series of games.
A win for Donegal against Monaghan would assure them of the last spot, while a draw would be sufficient should Cork fail to win against Kerry.
But at the other end of the scale, Donegal are mathematically not clear of relegation, but they have a hefty score difference of +13 as against that of their rivals - Monaghan and Mayo at -12 and Cork at -11.
The other games on final day see Mayo at home to Down; Roscommon at home to Dublin and Kerry hosting Kerry.